Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“How good it is to give thanks to You, O Lord, to sing Your honor, O Most High God, to proclaim Your constant love every morning and Your faithfulness every night…Your mighty deeds, O Lord make me glad; because of what You have done, I sing for joy.”
Psalms 92: 1-4
Good News Bible
Today’s Study Text:
“David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went to her and lay with her; and she bore a son, and she called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved the child. He sent a message by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and Nathan called the boy’s special name Jedidiah (beloved of the Lord), because the Lord, (loved the child).”
II Samuel 12: 24, 25
“Beloved of The Lord”
“Love is the greatest thing that God can give us; for Himself is love: and it is the greatest thing we can give to God.”
Do I feel that I am “beloved” by God?
What value do I put on myself when I recognize the fact that I am truly “beloved” by God?
“God did not make us because He stood to gain for the making. He made us out of sheer love.”
T. G. Jalland
“God chose us for His love, and now loves us for His choice.”
Today we begin our study through the book of I Kings. When we took a detour at the beginning of this year to focus on the great transformation which happens in our lives through the persistent power of prayer, there was a specific reason for this deviation from our studies of all the lives of the women in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. It is because, in the books of I and II Kings, we will be examining some of the greatest stories ever recorded in the Bible regarding persevering prayer. This is why our scrutiny into the effects of a power-filled prayer life were so vital.
As we find, the book of I Kings begins with the record of an aging King David and the fight among his children, who had different mothers, for the opportunity to ascend the throne of Israel when David died.
It was none other than Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, who in an alliance with God’s prophet, Nathan, became a critical force in reminding David of his promise to her that Solomon would inherit the throne of Israel.
However, there is a significant fact that is key to the life of Solomon, and it applies directly to your life and mine as well. If you will take another look at our study text today, found in II Samuel 12: 24, 25, you’ll find that it was God, Himself, who chose Solomon. No human hand placed the defining call upon Solomon’s life. Instead, it was his heavenly Father’s choice that he follow David as king.
With further investigation, we’ll also find out that it was God, who called the child Solomon, “Beloved of God.” This was a very precious and very loved child in God’s eyes. And it is this knowledge that you and I should embrace in our own hearts as we recognize the value God places on each of us, not just Solomon.
To underscore this point, I want to share the words of the prophet Isaiah who assures us that, “You who have been borne by Me from your birth carried from the womb: Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you” (Isaiah 46: 3, 4, Amplified Bible). From conception to the day we die, our Father’s hand is over us. And as the prophet Jeremiah reminds us, included in our Father’s presence from conception to death, is His entire plan for our lives: “'For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome,’” or as The Message Bible so comfortingly paraphrases Jeremiah 29: 10, 11 “I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised…I know what I’m doing, I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” These words let me know that just as God called Solomon, “His beloved,” so you and I are indeed, our Father’s “beloved,” too. It is from this starting point that I want to begin our exploration into Solomon’s life and the lives of the many women he encountered.
Often I’ve found the studies on this man called the “wisest man who ever lived,” focus on the two ends of the spectrum in Solomon’s life - his great wisdom as recorded in the book of Proverbs and his great profligacy as shown by his hundreds of recorded marriages and his false worship of gods made by human hands.
After much prayer and study about this complex man and all the women who entered his life, what I have uncovered are practical lessons which apply directly to your life and mine – to both women and men.
This beloved son of God, had a plan for his life, designed by his heavenly Maker. And as daughters of God, we, too, are beloved, with a heavenly plan laid out by our Creator. I love the words by the Apostle Paul who in his letter to his friends in Ephesus wrote, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone” (Ephesians 1: 11, 12, The Message Bible). However, we have a free choice, given to us by our Father, and we can follow God’s plan or choose to ignore it. But let me encourage you, when anyone seeks to demean you or to devalue your worth – no matter what baggage you think you carry, remember, you are your Father’s “beloved.” This is the starting gate for each of us. As Alexander Mac Laren eloquently penned, “God’s love is not drawn out by our lovableness, but wells up, like an artesian spring, from the depths of His nature.” This is the love that is today calling you, “beloved.”
“God loves you as though you are the only person in the world, and He loves everyone the way He loves you.”
Augustine of Hippo
“How good is the God we adore,
Our faithful, unchangeable Friend!
His love is as great as His power,
And knows neither measure nor end!”
“O Lord Jesus, who can love as you do?
Through Your deeds and labour
I have become as ripened fruit.
How blessed it is to share in Your glory
Eternally in Your providence.
I am Your treasure,
Product of Your arduous labour.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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